Everyone talks about Uluru and the Rock, however it surprises us how many families don’t venture out to see Kata Tjuta, the ‘other’ rock formation, fondly called The Olgas. We made sure we included this trip in our Red Centre Adventure.
Come rain, hail or shine, Kool Kampers recently braved the weather and headed out to experience mother nature at it’s best! Real Stories | Real Families…
I can’t believe we almost bypassed seeing these beautiful rock formations!! The Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is home to two phenomenal rock formations – one being Uluru or Ayers Rock as it was known for years – and the other being The Olgas. It’s native name is Kata Tjuta, which means ‘many heads’, because of its shape! We knew nothing of The Olgas before we came to the red centre, as Uluru had been the bucket list landmark to explore.
Owing to the rain forecast for that first day we were in the National Park, we had almost decided we were going to have a ‘chill out day’ in the van – catch up on our ‘Home & Away’ (I know, I know…..!) and some of those zzzzzzzzzz’s our bodies craved after a few longer than usual days travelling in the car. Lucky for us, the boys were restless…. so we figured that even if it rained, the boys needed to burn a little energy, so we headed for ‘The Olgas’ in the car geared up to do one of the few signed treks out there.
The flies were definitely out in force, so armed with our long sleeves and fly nets we started the Walpa Gorge Walk. This was a relatively gentle walk of 2.6km (return) ending at a viewing platform between two of The Olgas domes (‘heads’). If you book a proper tour for The Olgas, you can hear all about how the Aboriginal people used to use the area – and learn about some of the dreamtime stories circulating this sacred site.
We unfortunately didn’t book a tour, but rather undertook a self-guided tour and stopped at the signs and information boards along the way – having the kids read aloud to us the indigenous history and discussing as a family what it could have been like to live here with them. In doing further research about Kata Tjuta, we read that the traditional owners of the land still hold many traditional ceremonies there in areas that are not accessible to tourists (or other indigenous people who have no business there).
Not long into our trek through Walpa Gorge it started spitting, so we had to run back to the car and ditch the cameras. The best thing about the rain?? It made the flies disappear! 😆😆
The rain was fairly light at first, so we decided to take a slightly more difficult trek into The Valley of the Winds (a 3hr return walk). True to its name, we hit some moderate discomfort with the wind making our already damp clothes and bodies feel even colder – but still we continued onwards to the first lookout, ‘Karu’.
The view was a little hazy due to all the cloud cover – however I was super impressed with the boys’ efforts in the rainy weather, and with their awareness on those walks, talking about what these sacred aboriginal lands meant to its people, and how the land seemed to draw you in.
We had to leave our exploration at that – as the skies opened up further, and the kids started complaining that they could no longer feel their legs they were that cold! Heading out, the magnificent smells of damp plants and wood delighted our senses, taking our minds off the rain and wind smacking against us!
We must have looked a sight stripping down out of our wet clothes before jumping back in the car with the heater pumping before making our way back to camp for a warm shower!!
It’s all part of the adventure, I guess…
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